• Garry
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Hey, I’m Garry!

Montecollum, Australia · Member since August 2012

I'm a hippie banana farmer from Mullumbimby near Byron Bay. My parents bought our special piece of paradise over thirty years ago when land was cheap. We immediately went about restoring the degraded, weed infested natural bushland which includes koala habitat and threatened ecosystems. Since 1980 we have planted over eight thousand trees grown from seed collected from local remnants and removed acres of weeds. I love rainforests can identify most species in the local area and can recognise local birds from their calls.

Recently we took over management of the degraded four hectare banana plantation and converted it to a more organic or biological system. Previously chemicals were used and soil erosion was slowly destroying the landscape. We created swales (terraces) to catch and slow water movement and planted cover crops to hold the precious topsoil in place. Our main source of fertiliser is farm grown chipped wood and compost used as a mulch. We are essentially taking carbon from the atmosphere where it is a problem and storing it in the soil where it is useful but lacking. Carbon feeds the microbial life that is essential to plant health and our farm philosophy revolves around that fact. Harmlessness is something we apply to every aspect of our project. We aim to not harm the land and respect all the life that inhabits it including microscopic life under the soil surface.

I'm married to Suzy who works as a flight attendant. We are vegan but don't care about or judge anyone else's choices. Sometimes differences make people interesting more than similarities. We accept anyone and welcome anyone into our home who is interested in nature, sustainability, alternative thinking and lifestyles.. or anyone who is respectful of our beautiful property.

I love a surf or if there's no swell a swim in the ocean. The nearest beach is clothing optional and only ten minutes drive away. We usually go to the rainforest beaches south of Byron Bay if we have the opportunity. We have spare surfboards available and beach bikes. Riding a bike along the beach from Brunswick Heads to Byron Bay at low tide is fun.

We love sharing our house and amazing property with appreciative people so send us a message if you want to discover paradise or just want to say hello. If you don't have the opportunity to stay but are in the area and are curious about what a sustainable banana farm looks like I usually can spare half an hour to show it off. There's a free banana smoothie in it for anyone who is interested enough.